According to founder of Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP), Tom Grundy, Beijing is making moves to introduce national security legislation in Hong Kong following almost 12 months of protest and unrest.
The move comes 17 years after such plans were scrapped following city-wide demonstrations.”
Hong Kong Political Journalist, Alvin Lum highlighted four key provisions in the National Security law framework. They include:
- To be directly applied in Hong Kong,
- Beijing may choose to set up security agencies in Hong Kong,
- Hong Kong still needs to enact its own security law
- Judiciary will be asked to prohibit and punish acts threatening national security.
Confirming the second provision highlighted by Alvin, CNN International Correspondent, Will Ripley tweeted:
“National security agencies from mainland China will be able to set up agencies in Hong Kong to “fulfill relevant duties to safeguard national security,” a senior Chinese official on Friday told delegates at the National People’s Congress (NPC).”
#breaking National security agencies from mainland China will be able to set up agencies in Hong Kong to “fulfill relevant duties to safeguard national security,” a senior Chinese official on Friday told delegates at the National People’s Congress (NPC).— Will Ripley (@willripleyCNN) May 22, 2020
This latest development has sparked reactions from many stakeholders and concerned individuals.
See below what Legislative Councillor representing Hong Kong Island, Tanya Chan who is also a founding member of the Civic Party had to say.
“Today I think is the saddest day in Hong Kong history. It confirms ‘One Country, One System.’ It is so clear that it is a huge setback. In 2020, we can see that the Chinese government intervenes in Hong Kong matters in all aspects…the Chinese government cannot wait and they cannot really stand the freedom and rights that we gave in Hong Kong. So they try to take (them) away as quickly as possible”
See below tweet of Vice chairman and CEO, Republicans Overseas, Solomon Yue.
“Under #CCP fascism Xitler wants to destroy Hong Kong. We will fight back with you to the end. More are coming tomorrow!”
A concerned Hong Kong citizen, @jack_100d alleged that the Chinese government wants to forcefully implement the National Security Law in Hong Kong.
“They are killing Hong Kong, killing one country, two systems, and using social distancing rules to keep people from coming out to protest… This is the most devastating thing to happen to Hong Kong since the handover.” said democrat Dennis Kwok, as Trump promised a “very strong” reaction depending on Beijing’s intentions.
Maya Wang of Human Rights Watch said:
“Today’s Hong Kong, tomorrow’s the world.”
According to Tom Grundy, “1/ The ‘death’ of the city is no exaggeration. No matter if you’re in banking, academia, law, media, art… each sector will be affected & will need contingency plans when the law is enacted this summer. Speech will surely be restricted, inc. controls on what’s published online.
“2/ For us journalists, it may become illegal to interview certain people or publish views that Beijing considers seditious – & there will likely be increasingly broader interpretations of ‘sediticious’ as time passes, encompassing all kinds of opposing opinions & dissent.”
2/ For us journalists, it may become illegal to interview certain people or publish views that Beijing considers seditious – & there will likely be increasingly broader interpretations of 'sediticious' as time passes, encompassing all kinds of opposing opinions & dissent.— Tom Grundy (@tomgrundy) May 22, 2020
Hong Kong based writer and lawyer, Anthony Dapiran tweeted:
“The law to be formulated by NPCSC will cover secession, subversion, terrorist activities and other behaviour that threatens national security, as well as foreign forces/countries interfering in HK affairs.
“Also VERY alarming is Article 4: Relevant organs of the Central People’s Govt overseeing national security will establish branches in HK to carry out duties protecting national security. PRC secret police will be officially & openly operating in HK.”
New People’s Party (NPP) Hong Kong, Chairperson Regina Ip, seems to have an unpopular opinion of the National Security Law.
“Beijing’s decision is acceptable and understandable because Hong Kong has been a loophole for national security,” she said.
The Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council (HKMAO), an administrative agency of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China shares the same sentiments as Regina Ip.
HKMAO statement read:
“The #NationalSecurityLaw won’t affect the rights & freedoms enjoyed by #HongKong residents – including freedom of assembly, speech & press – but allows people to better exercise their legal rights & liberties in a free & safe environment.”
Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam and her whole cabinet has shown up in solidarity with National Security Law.
Carrie Lam said there’s no detail about the clauses and implementation yet, claiming Hong Kong’s judicial independence won’t be affected.